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Naomi Wolf: My Creeping Concern that the NSA Leaker is Not Who He Purports to Be ...

"I hate to do this but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be, and that the motivations involved in the story may be more complex than they appear to be. This is in no way to detract from the great courage of Glenn Greenwald in reporting the story, and the gutsiness of the Guardian in showcasing this kind of reporting, which is a service to America that US media is not performing at all. It is just to raise some cautions as the story unfolds, and to raise some questions about how it is unfolding, based on my experience with high-level political messaging.

Some of Snowden’s emphases seem to serve an intelligence/police state objective, rather than to challenge them.

a) He is super-organized, for a whistleblower, in terms of what candidates, the White House, the State Dept. et al call ‘message discipline.’ He insisted on publishing a power point in the newspapers that ran his initial revelations. I gather that he arranged for a talented filmmaker to shoot the Greenwald interview. These two steps — which are evidence of great media training, really ‘PR 101″ — are virtually never done (to my great distress) by other whistleblowers, or by progressive activists involved in breaking news, or by real courageous people who are under stress and getting the word out. They are always done, though, by high-level political surrogates.

b) In the Greenwald video interview, I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do. Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points — again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.

c) He keeps saying things like, “If you are a journalist and they think you are the transmission point of this info, they will certainly kill you.” Or: “I fully expect to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.” He also keeps stressing what he will lose: his $200,000 salary, his girlfriend, his house in Hawaii. These are the kinds of messages that the police state would LIKE journalists to take away; a real whistleblower also does not put out potential legal penalties as options, and almost always by this point has a lawyer by his/her side who would PROHIBIT him/her from saying, ‘come get me under the Espionage Act.” Finally in my experience, real whistleblowers are completely focused on their act of public service and trying to manage the jeopardy to themselves and their loved ones; they don’t tend ever to call attention to their own self-sacrifice. That is why they are heroes, among other reasons. But a police state would like us all to think about everything we would lose by standing up against it.

d) It is actually in the Police State’s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled, and that awful things happen to people who challenge this. Which is why I am not surprised that now he is on UK no-fly lists – I assume the end of this story is that we will all have a lesson in terrible things that happen to whistleblowers. That could be because he is a real guy who gets in trouble; but it would be as useful to the police state if he is a fake guy who gets in ‘trouble.’

e) In stories that intelligence services are advancing (I would call the prostitutes-with-the-secret-service such a story), there are great sexy or sex-related mediagenic visuals that keep being dropped in, to keep media focus on the issue. That very pretty pole-dancing Facebooking girlfriend who appeared for, well, no reason in the media coverage…and who keeps leaking commentary, so her picture can be recycled in the press…really, she happens to pole-dance? Dan Ellsberg’s wife was and is very beautiful and doubtless a good dancer but somehow she took a statelier role as his news story unfolded…

f) Snowden is in Hong Kong, which has close ties to the UK, which has done the US’s bidding with other famous leakers such as Assange. So really there are MANY other countries that he would be less likely to be handed over from…

g) Media reports said he had vanished at one point to ‘an undisclosed location’ or ‘a safe house.’ Come on. There is no such thing. Unless you are with the one organization that can still get off the surveillance grid, because that org created it.

h) I was at dinner last night to celebrate the brave and heroic Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Several of Assange’s also brave and talented legal team were there, and I remembered them from when I had met with Assange. These attorneys are present at every moment when Assange meets the press — when I met with him off the record last Fall in the Ecuadoran embassy, his counsel was present the whole time, listening and stepping in when necessary.

Seeing these diligent attentive free-speech attorneys for another whisleblower reinforced my growing anxiety: WHERE IS SNOWDEN’S LAWYER as the world’s media meet with him? A whistleblower talking to media has his/her counsel advising him/her at all times, if not actually being present at the interview, because anything he/she says can affect the legal danger the whistleblower may be in . It is very, very odd to me that a lawyer has not appeared, to my knowledge, to stand at Snowden’s side and keep him from further jeopardy in interviews.

Again I hate to cast any skepticism on what seems to be a great story of a brave spy coming in from the cold in the service of American freedom. And I would never raise such questions in public if I had not been told by a very senior official in the intelligence world that indeed, there are some news stories that they create and drive — even in America (where propagandizing Americans is now legal). But do consider that in Eastern Germany, for instance, it was the fear of a machine of surveillance that people believed watched them at all times — rather than the machine itself — that drove compliance and passivity. From the standpoint of the police state and its interests — why have a giant Big Brother apparatus spying on us at all times — unless we know about it?"

Posted by Naomi Wolf at:

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I think she makes a great point

And then I read this article http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/18/309609/how-to-identi...
I'm withholding judgement on this one because it does feel contrived and I can see that it is being used to sway the public toward accepting spying without question, even hating those who don't like it. You really never know what's happening.

The best analysis

I've read is that this Snowden narrative is part of an over-arching plan to get CISPA passed this time around. This event could be seen as Act I...with the usual suspects playing their parts, waiting for Act II to commence.

"If this mischievous financial policy [greenbacks], which has its origin in North America, should become endurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without debts. It will hav

Michael Nystrom's picture

This is old, and has already been posted


They are valid questions, and should be given their consideration, which I have. In the end, there really is no way to know what the truth is, so all we have is what we choose to believe. Belief is a choice.

So with regards to your question below,

What if it really is a plan to "get it out there", a further effort to silence and intimidate people. Get people to self-censor out of fear of the NSA.

I'd say the response is to refuse to be silenced, and refuse to be intimidated. That is your choice as well. Everything in life is a choice. Look at Greenwald - he's not backing down. He has chosen not to back down.

So unless shown to be otherwise, I choose to believe that Edward Snowden is a courageous American, who is doing his duty as a citizen, and to support him in whatever way I can.

He's the man.

Sorry for the re-post.

Sorry for the re-post. I was looking for it and didnt find it. Thanks for everyone's responses. I appreciate the perspectives.

I agree with Michael. Whatever the truth is about this issue we know more about what is going on in secret than we did before and that is positive. On all issues we should refuse to be intimidated and courageously stand for what is right.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Hey no problem

Thanks for posting it anyway. I did think about it when she first published it, and it did freak me out a little.

Sometimes you feel like you're living in a hall of mirrors these days. It is always good to stay alert. But also to remember that there are plenty of things we have no control over. But the one thing we always can control is our response.

I am heartened by, and proud of everyone here who chooses courage over fear, because it isn't always easy to make that choice.

Thank you friend.

He's the man.

How 'Bout Further Ce@se & Desist

...on the spy supercenter currently under construction in Ut@h!

Yeah, I don't get it. When do we say stop?


Free includes debt-free!

Moses asked God and says God said...

I shall prove to be who I shall prove to be.

Yeah, and I get creepy feelings from Steven King stories.

Bring facts, creepy feeling noted.

Free includes debt-free!

Why give a rat's rear about WHO Snowden is?

Why give a rat's rear about WHO Snowden is? WHO cares WHY he did it? Maybe he did it to get back at his mother. So what?

Exposing the incredibly deep layers of corruption in our modern techno-tyranny is all I care about.

No, wait. I care about one thing more:

STOPPING the tyranny and PUNISHING the GUILTY!

Let's see, in a federal court that's a fine of up to $10,000 and/or one year in prison for each violation of wiretapping laws, the NSA committed potentially tens of thousands of violations per victim, and there are 300,000,000 victims. Rounding off, that's 3 trillion years of prison time for NSA officers, and $30 quadrillion in fines owed the American people.

Obama can just close the NSA, give em life imprisonment, cancel all outstanding debts, and commit himself to a mental asylum, and we'll call it even. What do you think?

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

How about cease and desist order from judges?

The Iron curtain came down with hammers.

I'll bet a blow or two would smash those Prisms.

Free includes debt-free!

For the sake of debate,

For the sake of debate, whether the man is real or not, the discussion he brought is most deffinatly real, and if he is for real, he is a hero, if he is a fake, well then, they fucked up.......unless their plan for some reason was to reduce the trust the US people have for their government, knowing their lawyer minds, and their sneaky schemes, i wouldnt put it past them........but i strongly suspect they havent intentionally created the volatile environment willfully, just because, they'd have to give up the pretense of a free country, in order to control the outcome of the volatile situation they've created, and in the process of doing so, the process of FORCED CONTROL, more then likely reach and awaken a whole bunch of "unwakeble" people, with direct in everybodies faces, hard to ignore, even more difficult to justify, infringement of rights, no more, quiety, quiety, .........making their situation EVEN worse

We really can't speculate on matters completely new to the World

We've never seen revelations on this scale before—a Global scale—so it's hard to imagine what the motivations of Snowden may be. However, he set out on his last position with the intent to gather information to eventually make public, so his organization and well-spoken manner is to be expected. I'm no intelligence officer but I often find that when I speak of matters close to me, the words flow effortlessly and in a continuous stream of consciousness that often passes the hours like minutes.

I always appreciate and encourage healthy scepticism while making sure not to dismiss all possibilities, even ones that may be genuine. Maintain a neutral view until enough information is available to draw to a conclusion. It's far easier to fall back on familiar, conditioned negative views on these events, than it is to see the Truth underneath them. THAT is what is new to us and something we must always push towards.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I know a lot here don't like hearing it BUT.....

...there is actually a way for someone to know the truth if they are spiritually as well as securlarly in tune.

Remember a thing can be both good and bad, and can be used for both good and bad, sometimes at the same time. Think yin and yang.

The way to know the truth is:
a) is it life AFFIRMING with regards to any and all INDIVIDUALS (not collectively)
b) does it bring one closer to or away from God

Remember, bad guys are EXTREMELY predictable. It's weird. They will tell you what they are going to do. They will choose to do the wrong thing.

Look for the sure signs.

Nice post. I resonate with it completely!


"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Glad to see

someone else doubting this man.

It's not doubting Snowden...

It's doubting that this is all an accident.

I think it's disclosure and normalization.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

this is 11 days old

from 6.14

who knows what to think--

maybe Naomi is in on it--

maybe all of *us* are--

I see that her points are articulate--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

What do you think?

I think the most interesting part to consider is her ending. What if it really is a plan to "get it out there", a further effort to silence and intimidate people. Get people to self-censor out of fear of the NSA.

I mean there are all these other NSA whistleblowers. Russ Tice's revelations about blackmailing congress members is more explosive than Snowdens. Why are we not seeing tice at the center of a media frenzy?


Because Greenwald CHAMPIONED this, because it was FORCED into the MSM because of the wide readership of the GUARDIAN.

This has reached the level of an international incident that is currently escalating. Do you think the folks at Boos Allen Hamilton are happy with all of this attention?

The MSM is being exposed as Corporate thugs as they CLING to their hopeless effort to demonize Snowden while the vast majority of comments are calling them on it.

I've shared TommyPaine's post with a lot of people.


I just received a mass mailing from a pastor who wrote about the implications, while including Tommy's link.

Light is a powerful disinfectant.

tasmlab's picture

Interesting, but wouldn't a grand unveiling be more their style?

You make a great point!

But wouldn't the government want to unveil the program with a sexy acronym and lots of jingoistic speeches and such? Call it Operation Freedom and explain the strength of its moral core. They could even shoot us all a text message to tell us 'we're listening for your safety'

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

This is the Grand Unveiling

This is the 'Grand Unveiling'.

It's so intrusive it could only be sold as though half the gov't wasn't very happy about it. Which I'm sure many aren't. But it simply could not be hidden anymore. The longer they went along pretending they weren't breaking the law and spying on everyone, the more descent there would be, the greater the cover-up would have to be, and the greater the consequenses when finally proven.
It also happens to be that open-tyranny via a big-brother police state is precisely their goal. They cannot control us with ignorance for much longer, they will have to use fear again, if they will keep their power.
Despite the warnings and outcries from many here on DP and elsewhere that the 'NWO' tyranny is already here, now, as we speak, and the 'S' has 'HTF' already, others still continue to trust the MSM and cling to false "Hope", in apparent denial of the distance down the slippery slope we have slipped.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?